James Kerian: Doug Burgum's Campaign Is Long On Flash, Short On Details

It may be hard to remember, but in 2008 Obama was running as a new kind of candidate just as Doug Burgum is now.  The electorate was tired of the way Republicans had been running things but still uninterested in electing a liberal so Obama ran as something new; something in between, or higher than, a regular old conservative/liberal.

He was flashy, he brought forth tremendous loyalty from those who knew him, and his inspiring personal story was supposed to be proof that his intelligence and ability would allow him to raise us all above the tired old political arguments and move us forward together to a glorious new future.

It was a campaign of little ideology and it was almost completely devoid of specific policy proposals.  But it was cool, very cool, and new, and high-tech, and smart, and a rejection of the same-old, business-as-usual, tired, old, worn-out good old boys club.  Of course, it was all a fraud.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]Doug Burgum has generically criticized spending but he can’t name anything substantive he would cut.  He has plastered the word “conservative” all over his campaign literature but he continues to lobby for and receive millions in taxpayer funded subsidies while he campaigns on using the power of government to influence where people live.[/mks_pullquote]

As Reagan once pointed out there is no third political way, “There’s only an up or down—up, man’s age old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.”  A candidate will move us either further up or further down that scale than his opponent, and if his rhetoric does not indicate which it will be then it is likely there’s a troubling reason for this omission.

Doug Burgum has generically criticized spending but he can’t name anything substantive he would cut.  He has plastered the word “conservative” all over his campaign literature but he continues to lobby for and receive millions in taxpayer funded subsidies while he campaigns on using the power of government to influence where people live. According to Burgum, when it comes to smart decisions on that topic, “the free market won’t deliver that.”

In recent interviews when asked about the right to life Doug Burgum has been vague (and sometimes just downright confused).  But when he was giving straight answers on the question he spoke against the pro life bills that Governor Dalrymple signed including several that have survived court challenge and are currently in place saving lives.  When pushed on the topic Burgum collapses into the typical left-wing, forty year old talking points that liberals have long used to justify the government denying equal protection under the law to millions of about-to-be-born children.

Burgum has hedged on the EPA’s war on coal and he can’t remember what he didn’t like about the sexual orientation and gender identity bill from the last legislative session. But he’s smart, and he’s rich, and he’s flashy and he can afford a whole lot of television ads to make those claims over and over again.

If you are not a committed leftist the only reason to vote for Doug Burgum would be that you have become so frustrated with the status quo in the Republican party that you’re willing to support anyone (no matter how left wing) to break up the group that has been in charge in Bismarck.  Believe me, I can understand the temptation.  But “we need a change” (while true) isn’t really any better of a reason for electing Burgum now than it was for electing Obama after eight years of Bush.  If you want to vote for a liberal just vote Democrat in the general election.  Don’t give the Forum Editorial Board their favorite candidate as the Republican nominee.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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